Thursday, 18 June, 2009

Lyf at EDI...

OK, so finally I get down to writing about the awesome time we had at EDI...

Priti (yeah, I'm linking... gimme my commission after you're back! I'm almost broke after footing my clearance for the library card ;) )and I left together after hell lot of problems (to say the least). We took a flight on the morning of the 10th and consequently reached late and missed the very first session. Though we were provided with a pick-up facility from the airport and EDI, being pretty close to the airport, it didn't take us very long to reach. The driver showed us the various industries and the river which flows through the city. I remember his statement... 'Gujaratis are very polite people' and this got confirmed at every stage I can recall.

Being newcomers always feels a little awkward, as in reaching after everybody else has, and then entering in the middle of a lecture and being made to sit in the first row, when you don't know what it is exactly about.... phew! And when the very first session is supposed to be Micro lab and familiarisation... don't get fooled by the high class Angreji... it was just a session on ice-breaking and helping people in getting to know each other...

So after we missed the first session, we knew that thawing the ice would take a little longer for us... We hoped we would be in the same room, but it turned out that they had been alloted in an alphabetical order, and in retrospection, it was a good thing that we were not together. So right after the first session, we caught up with a group of girls during lunch, most of whom were just tenth pass students (ok technically just given their xams, their results weren't out yet!) I felt like I might be easily among the eldest people out there... even though the age group was 16-22.

After lunch, we got to meet our respective room-mates... my room-mate was Nirja Acharya, a med student studying in the US. A striking factor was that a lot of them were Gujjus and majority among them from Ahmedabad.

An overview of the schedule of the workshop can be found here.

Though a lot of things are missing from over here... like the fact that we were made to get up at 5.30 in the morning, yeah for yoga... which was followed with some free time wherein people who wanted to read newspapers could do so... or play TT... (There were two tables)... or just while around... By 8 we were supposed to be ready and attend morning prayers... though a staunch agnostic, and not exactly a believer of prayers, I did like sitting there, and listening to the people chanting hymns and all...

8.15 was the time we got served our breakfast, and the Gujju food was mind-blowing... simply too good... I heard a lot of "bottom-line" *wink wink* problems taking place in the 10 days we were there... The rooms are heaven for someone descending from the IIMs or any other normal college hostel room... fully furnished with paintings (yes!) and air conditioned... (yes!) and spatious, on twin sharing basis... wow! The library at EDI looks like a palace compared to the one at my college, and I am not talking about the size. The collection of books on varied topics is really good. Add to it the availability of Wi-fi anywhere in the campus, who wouldn't want to be there?

Apart from that, we i.e. the total 57 participants were divided into 6 groups and each group had to give a thematic presentation and a dramatic presentation. Priti and I both ended up as leaders of our respective groups (yeah again we were not together... why do people always have to arrange things alphabetically????) and the horrible luck that I possessed, it turned out that we had our thematic ppt the very next day! Yeah, here I was, leader of a group I didn't know anything about, and less than 2 hrs left before we were forcefully herded back to out rooms... no Wi-fi on the first day (coz you have to get laptops configured first and we got to know this at around 9pm and we had our ppt at 7 pm the next day!) The tragedy!

So in one hour we garnered as much info as we could, (from the computer centres, thankfully I did have my pendrive!) and there being only one laptop in the entire group (mine), I had to take the responsibility of making the entire ppt, but that still didn't leave any of the members with any time to practice... Nirja and I still managed to put up a ppt after being awake till almost 2.30am, and Nirja was looking like near-drugged, coz she anyway had a jetlag... (she'd travelled from the US the same morning)

And these people had a problem with even girls going to each others' rooms after 10pm *banging head on the wall * WHAT were they expecting??? I mean, you couldn't even sit out on the lawns, and there were actually guards sitting outside the rooms, and WTF, the guards sat near where our rooms were, which meant the guys could do anything they liked!!! Some of them even shifted their beds to other rooms! I mean, even we people wanna do masti! We were there for only 10 days!

So Nirja and I somehow got the ppt near completion, though she had to give up before me, coz of the jetlag... and the next day, we didn't have any time till the evening to do anything about it. The Wi-fi was still for some reason not working... nobody was prepared, and it looked like a sure doom, and to top it all, some of the members of the group were not willing to go on the stage and speak, coz they had stage fear... but adamant as I can be, I forced everybody to go... No I am not trying to be apne muh miyan mithu, (and I don't care if that's what you think it is!) what I am trying to say is... it was chance for them, to remove their stage fear, and I wanted them to take it... not everybody gets the same opportunities in life...

So boring as the ppt may be, the slides were text heavy (how could I expect anybody to be able to learn anything in 2 hrs!!! from 5pm when the day session ended to 7pm when we were supposed to present it...), I could not put in the small pics that I usually put for a bit of light touch (no internet!), it was boring... yeah I know it was... just history of famous entrepreneurs, (now when has that ever solicited a non sleepy response from anybody?) But I was happy about one thing.... everybody spoke... however dragon-like the audience may have seemed to be, they did speak... and speak well they did!

We had this thing called MILLY, Most Important Lessons Learnt Yesterday, when we were supposed to sum up the previous day's lessons, as the name itself says... and that too was an effort simply to make people come up and speak... there too, like a shepherd's dogs nudge the sheep to be on the right path, I was after their (yeah my group members must have sworn at me like anything) lives to go and speak on the stage... (actually technically it wasn't even a stage, I mean it was just a conference room and there was no elevation or anything that qualifies as "stage" )

My biggest achievement- when a group member came to me and asked me for feedback each day after having spoken during the MILLY and when he said... Thank You..., introduced me to his cousin sister (who had come to meet him) as the one who made him go and speak on the stage, the pride in his eyes, and consequently mine, was unmistakable.

OK, I believe you've had enough of the narcissist me and are probably about to grunt and groan and hit that X button on the tab... so before you do that... I am ending the first part here... Yeah this will have to be in parts... there's such a lot to share... so watch this space...



7 comments:

neeraj_only said...

Happening first day :)

waiting to read next past...

PRITI R said...

I love you :)

Chriz said...

nice change and good to know that you are liking the new world

Anurag said...

woah that was alooong post...Liked the full form of milly :P

Hope you continue with the good work :)

Thousif Raza M.B said...

well this reminds me of the time i competed in a coll fest for the first time in Aloysius coll where i was a winner, almost ;)lol

hmm its glad to know that you had plenty of fun with a lil bit of studying too ;), will be waiting for the 2nd part eagerly

and after you do that i want you on my blog pronto, :)

take care and keep writing......

Mads said...

hehe...i felt like this when i first went to hostel :D
wanted to rant every single damn thing out on my blog :)
MILLY is cute :D and yeah, thats what leaders are for. Good job there, and I'm sure your team members would have sincerely appreciated it :-)

aZoed said...

mostly gujjus... no wonder then that they make good business ppl.
yea you are good at forcin' ppl to do what they don't wanna do [ask me!]

seems like a nice time hat you had there :)
P.S. when was the last time you wrote that long a post?